Press "Enter" to skip to content

Black Hills Bike Ride: Spearfish to Hot Springs

Last updated on 2013.06.28

I love the Black Hills. I also love my bike. How better to show someone you love them than spending the entire day with them?

I spent Wednesday on my bike pedaling from Spearfish to Hot Springs. I started and ended on paved highway, but did 90-some miles on the gravel of the Mickelson Trail, from the Deadwood terminus to the Minnekahta Trailhead near the SD 89-US 18 junction between Pringle and Edgemont. I drank a lot of water and took a lot of pictures. The full album is on Facebook; here are a few of my favorite shots from a gloriously warm, sunny day in the Black Hills.

The Mickelson Trail is a state treasure. Go bike it. Go hike it. Do a little chunk here, a little chunk there, whatever you have the time and legs for. On almost any mile of the trail, you'll find reasons to be glad you're in South Dakota.


  1. Rick 2013.06.28

    Where is the "like" button? Thanks for the pics, Cory. A great sample of what makes a Hills vacation so desireable.

  2. Barry Smith 2013.06.28

    Great pics Cory what a great way to spend a day! Were there many folks on the trail ? And what tire did you use on that Mickleson gravel?

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.28

    Thanks, Barry! The trail really didn't seem that busy. Past Custer (about 2 p.m.), I met just one other person on the trail, a guy just getting on at Pringle. I rode just standard mountain bike tires, a little knobby (specs: 26"x2.00 Specialized Fast Trak LK). Have you ridden the Mickelson?

  4. Barry Smith 2013.06.28

    No I haven't had a chance yet Cory- I am hoping to get out there this fall. It has been a great spring for cycling here east river though. I was thinking that you probably needed 26 inch tires for the trail. Is the gravel pretty loose? how does it compare to east river gravel roads?

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.06.28

    Beautiful. That's why a love the Hills. Side roads, trails, scenery, wild life, tame life. Ahhhh. Gorgeous. Thanks Cory.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.29

    Width matters: you don't want skinny road tires. The gravel is mostly packed tightly, though not as hard and smooth as you'd get from a road with lots of car traffic.

    Diameter is a different question: 29-inch wheels give better momentum and traction. I don't have any experience riding the 29-incher, but I get the impression the advantage is greater for off-road.

    Yes, get out here in the fall! Come out and ride whatever sections you like on your own, or go hog-wild and sign up for the Trail Trek Sept. 20–22 (though their early registration deadline is tomorrow! $30 difference!).

Comments are closed.